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Virgil Abloh signs Lucien Clarke to Louis Vuitton but are skaters ready?

After a year of secrecy, Virgil Abloh, the Creative Director of Menswear for Louis Vuitton, signed a deal with Jamaican born pro-skater Lucien Clarke to the 166-year-old brand as the first ‘luxury skater.’

Designing the first-ever skater-ready sneaker for the LV brand, the two have put the shoe to the ultimate test of skating and acceptance amongst the skate community.

In promotion, the Louis Vuitton logo is not only being skated in, it’s being skated on, with the monogram logo appearing on the bottom side of a Palace Skateboards brand board.


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TONIGHT WE CELEBRATE ‍☠️‍☠️‍☠️ @domperignonofficial

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This collaboration may have been teased back in April of 2019, about a year after Clarke walked in Abloh’s inaugural LV show in 2018. This fusion is telling of the future for luxury streetwear and how the hypebeast react will be the true ethos of the culture. But there has been no release date announced on it as of yet.

Since the Supreme x Louis Vuitton collaborated back in 2017 under the direction of Kim Jones, skate and luxury have been more prevalent, crossing paths at every corner. But skate and luxury have yet to truly meet up until now.

What to think about here is the sport of skating and those who partake, in the masses. Average skaters likely couldn’t afford to pay hundreds of dollars for a skate shoe.

As they may or may not own luxury streetwear themselves, to skate in better materials could be better but the action of the sport would destroy expensive pieces of clothing and sneakers.

The Louis Vuitton Pro trainers are indeed a pure skate shoe. Designed by Lucien Clarke and with guidance from Abloh, the shoe meets the standard of a proper skate shoe.

Lucien can be seen on his Instagram account in the white pair of the trainers doing what he does best, revealing the wear-and-tear skaters are familiar with.

But as Lucien is a sponsored skater for Palace Skateboards, Element, and has done some work with Supreme in the past, he and many other sponsored skaters are gifted items often by the many skate brands out there that they represent. The average skater wouldn’t want or couldn’t afford the turnover rate for that kind of footwear.

Virgil Abloh chose to display this first-ever culture-collab in Trasher magazine, the holy grail of skate magazines. In the ad, Clarke is skating in the shoe and modeling in monogram LV designed denim outfit in a full-page spread.

Abloh and Clarke were both equally ecstatic for the reveal of their collab, taking to their Instagram following. Abloh expressed that they were – lowkey – filming skate sessions for a year.

With brands having attempted to initiate an organic skate-luxury culture – BBC/Ice Cream had a skate team who performed in all their clothing and skate-designed sneakers made by Reebok – Virgil Abloh and the Louis Vuitton quite possibly are going down a path that could stretch the skater’s dollars.

This could force skaters everywhere to invest in luxury skate-wear and quite possibly even skate less.

Look out for this article on PAGE magazine.